Turkish Airlines passengers transiting through Istanbul with long layovers can once again experience the sights and sounds of Turkey thanks to the airline’s resumption of its stopover accommodation service.
In 2017, Turkish Airlines began offering some round trip ticket holders the option of a free night’s stay in Istanbul if their layover was more than 20 hours long. This is not to be confused with the Touristanbul option where passengers could get a free guided tour of the city if they are on a 6-24 hour layover in Istanbul. Passengers qualifying for the Stopover benefit can get up to two free nights in a select 5-star hotel if they are flying in business class, or one free night at a 4-star hotel if they travel in economy.
The project was put on pause as a result of the pandemic, but is back in full swing with the decrease in new infections.
Turkish Airlines General Manager Bilal Ekşi stated: “We aim to show the Turkish hospitality and unique wonders of Istanbul to our passengers opting for stopover accommodation service while contributing to tourism in Turkey and increase the number of transfer passengers flying Turkish Airlines.”
Besides the free benefit, passengers who have extremely long layovers can extend their stay for as prices starting at $49. Ekşi added, “passengers can also increase the length of their initial free of charge accommodations with advantageous Turkish Airlines prices at contracted hotels to discover even more of Istanbul.”
There are a few things to keep in mind to qualify for the stopover service. Besides requiring a round trip ticket with a 20 hour or more layover in Istanbul, you’ll only qualify if you fly between certain city pairings. For instance, someone flying from Australia to Europe can qualify, but someone flying from New York to Europe won’t. Also, the service can only be used only on either the inbound or outbound flights, so you’ll want to plan your flights to avoid getting stuck in the airport for too long on the non-stopover run. Check out the full list of terms and conditions and contact emails here.
[Featured Photo: Pedro Szekely/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)]